Thrift and Such April 18


      I thought about taking down my haphazardly thrown together word purge, but then thought again.Every now and then I read a comment that makes me question how I come across, or lead to false assumptions, then I think about how I come across in real life. I don't want pity, but do want my own timeline and space to keep processing the day to day experiences I was not prepared for. Enough on that, but thank you for those that left kind words. 

     My thrift review covers an odd Thursday - Wednesday time period. I'm trying hard to keep living expenses as low as possible to hopefully put towards home and living improvements and saving towards an early retirement, while still enjoying time with family and friends. I'm follow The Hawaii Plan's format for tracking because it resonates with how I'm approaching thrift as well. Particular call out to her "For Others" category as it's so important when managing our budgets, we still give of ourselves in time, money, or other resources when we're in position to do so. I've been the recipient of others generosity too many times to count. I added a "Thrifty Bonus" category, to capture things that don't really fall anywhere, but to me add to my life and are a good value.

Saving on things we buy

  • We needed much more grass seed, and was able to get a resilient version for mixed sun and shade, easier for my ignorance, on sale. Plus the non-kink hose and sprayer was on sale.  
  • Used the $5 Kohl's cash that was sent for my husbands old account towards a small gift for my MIL for Mother's Day. I already had gone in on a new ceiling fan, so this was just a treat to go in her card. 
  • These were tucked away in the freezer right away for summer lake use, but for two packages of chicken hotdogs, dated April 18, for 50¢ a package. When you got hungry teens at the table that will eat four at a sitting, they'll be nice to have for extra. 
  • Filled up tank with a 10¢ per gallon coupon.

Earning money

  • Sent in the receipt and rebate form to get 11% back. I wish it was just a discount but I'll find uses for the store credit check that are needs like furnace filters, light bulbs, and household cleaning supplies. 
  • Not really earning money, but put in for reimbursement for mileage to an outstate meeting. With parking it was over $85, and gas is really expensive. 
  • A couple CDs matured this week. I learned I can roll them over to a new plan and get an additional .3% interest. While not a fortune, every bit helps rebuild savings after paying for the fence. 

Avoiding spending

  • Brought along snack to share and drinks we already had for BYOB cards at my sister's Saturday night. It's such an economical and enjoyable way to spend an evening. 
  • I'm putting this here, but not sure it quite fits. I forgot lunch on Tuesday with the chaos of dog and knee appointment. I got by just getting a few things at an Aldi on route to cover Tuesday in the office plus a couple other out and abouts, way less than restaurant or take out would be. I'll count towards groceries and tighten just a bit more the rest of the month. 

Eating what we have/ Using what we have

  • I got dinner out with a former work colleague last Thursday, but brought half the chicken rolls home- just too much. My son gladly devoured. 
  • I made muffins with frozen  banana saved when it went past eating prime and two of the last four oatmeal packets. One more batch and those will be gone. 
  • My son made full use of the pork roast he made last Friday, eating as burritos and breakfast sandwiches. I'm glad he's not picky about leftovers, though he repurposes. 
  • We were going to make burgers on Monday for  supper, but pushed out another  couple days as my son recognized the amount of odds and ends to use up. We're both trying to watch the waste and save pennies. 
  • Saved a decomposable egg carton to start more seeds. I'll use the plastic wrap trick that seems to be working well for the sunflowers. 

For others

  • My son got a panic call from his cousin that has the pizza/ brewery. Her husband was coming to collect a heck of a deal on chairs near us and assumed he could pay with a check. They wanted cash only and he was without debit card or enough cash. I was able to provide the cash and he reimbursed me with a check so they didn't miss out. I don't keep a lot of cash on hand, but this was completely doable. I'll cash the check and return to my little emergency stash. 
  •  I gave my sister a ride to a party so she could have a few beers and not think about her car. Later, she got a ride to my sister's, and I brought her home too. 
  • Had the girls for dinner Sunday. Sent leftovers with my youngest. 
Thrifty Bonus 
  • I signed up for Duolingo to get a crash course update for French. I've managed to do the 5-15 minutes per day. 
  • I had a call with a representative for the pension, HSA, and deferred comp manager so I understand timing and requirements next year and can better plan. 

     And to keep myself honest, I made a few splurges as life is about "both and" when it comes to spending and saving.

  • Dinner out with colleague including a beer. Conversation with someone I really enjoy spending time with and miss in the workplace, priceless. 
  • New hose and spray attachment, even on sale, were $60 plus tax but will make watering  flowers, planters, and trees so much easier. I bought the style my friend had when I watered for her last August.and it was such a joy to use and her yard is large and garden beds spread out.  
  • I could have made due with just egg cartons, but bought a small seed starter box, that makes a sort of mini green house. I started peppers and zucchini., plus a couple seed packets of Cosmos in some decomposing planters. I'll use them in an existing planter and hanging basket. 

     There we go. As for retirement count down, I'm now 46 to 63 weeks away, depending on what month I make the leap. Being thrifty now is part of that decision, both in how much I can save, and how realistically  comfortably low I can get my living budget. I keep reading other bloggers thrift and frugal posts. I keep learning or affirming that we can lead good lives on a budget. 


  1. Love reading this! I find that the "For Others" section always helps me keep that top of mind throughout the week, which I enjoy.

    You had a lot of great wins. So nice you were able to help out your family member, & sounds like you are doing all of the right research to prep for your upcoming retirement, which is exciting. (Hawaii Planner)

    1. I agree that it's important to make sure others are part of our thrift, otherwise it's more cheap than thrifty, and why I borrowed from you. Yes, now is the time to make sure I know as much as possible.

  2. I love that you started Duolingo! They are based out of Pittsburgh and are such a treasure to our city. I’m trying to keep spending at a minimum here but did use a $5 kohls cash +30% off to snag a blanket for the gift closet or for either of the kids if they want it and then immediately paid off the few bucks I charged. I washed the covers on and am giving away our weighted blankets to my friends kids. We loved the idea of them but actually can’t stand them. They can try them out and do what they want with them. Two less bulky items in the house. I’ve been finding a lot of free samples online lately, mostly on Facebook so it’s fun to see those rolling in. I've been getting a lot of free items in my fast food apps too, which aren’t ideal but free is free and a nice treat. JoAnn

    1. I'm reviewing. The accents even in app throw me. Weighted blankets would be tough on me too.

  3. I am glad you are allowing yourself a few splurges while maintaining a budget. And I am envious of your new non-kink hose≥ I have what is supposed to be a fabulous hose that kinks every single time I use it. It gets irritating to play "find the kink" each time I am watering .

    1. I hope it proves a goòd buy. My friends was a joy to use.

  4. I enjoy (and appreciate) seeing how others are dealing with spending, being thrifty, and "splurges." (That one always catches my attention!) Trust me, getting your retirement ducks in order NOW is invaluable for being able to make the decisions that are right for you!

    1. I get one question answered then think of two more. I'm getting close to being able to set a hard date.

  5. We have a non-kink hose that is expensive and heavy. I want one that is light and shrinks when off. I don't know if they really work.
    Have you considered all the things you won't spend money on like gas when you retire? Those items should free up some of your budget. I know I went from filling up the car three times each week to filling it up every ten days or so.

    1. I hope this one works like my friends. As I mostly work from home, the savings will be minimal. I don't have a special wardrobe and I combine my one day in office with other errands. I don't fill up my tank now as often as you suggest.

    2. So, there will not be much saving when you retire. Too bad.

    3. The only budget item that causes me pause is health insurance for myself and my daughter.

  6. Glad you're allowing yourself a few treats as well as saving with the budget. I think that's the kind of balance I want us to have. Not to be stingy or tight, but to be frugal in order to be able to do other things that are important to us and stay on budget

    1. I'm trying to avoid nonsense and lazy spending. No fast food- lazy and nonsense because of health and taste, and instead easy food for meals- those kind of differences.

  7. I drove quite a way when I had to go buy a new sewing machine for our club and the library lady told me to put in for mileage. I wasn't particularly bothered but was shocked when I got €40 back (pity I got a €65 speeding ticket though)! And I'm still going strong on Italian with Duolingo. I try to do three lessons at a time and you're right, that takes about 15 minutes, so time well spent!

    1. Sorry about the speeding ticket! Mileage costs do add up though.


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